Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Giving Thanks for the Work of God in Others

We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  (1 Thess 1:2-3)

We are taught first to give thanks for the good things that have come our way, and thus to leave till later requests for what is lacking.  You can, in fact, find the divine apostle doing this everywhere.  He also brings out for what things he sings the praises of the God of all.

Work of faith” means constancy in danger.  It is necessary not only to give evidence of faith in peace and tranquility, but also to cling to it amid storm and tempest.  Likewise love also does not experience untroubled enjoyment but as well exceeding effort.  One has to put up with the brethren's failings, whether envy, rage, conceit, or the weakness of ingratitude.  For this reason he linked labor with love, and associated persistence with hope.  Christ the Lord gave us hope in the resurrection of the dead, immortal life, the kingdom of heaven.  The person in receipt of this hope must persist and bear nobly the troubles that befall.  The God of all has an eye to everything.

Theodoret of Cyrus, "The First Letter to the Thessalonians"

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